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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S03126X/1
Title: UK participation in IEA EBC Annex 79: Occupant behaviour-centric building design and operation
Principal Investigator: Bleil de Souza, Dr C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Welsh School of Architecture (ARCHI)
Organisation: Cardiff University
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 08 September 2019 Ends: 07 September 2024 Value (£): 26,495
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Building Ops & Management Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Apr 2019 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 9 and 10 April 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Understanding energy related occupancy behavior has been a key issue in reaching international and EU energy targets but the majority of policies and legislation are still very much focused on building envelope and HVAC efficiencies. However, occupancy behavior affects building energy requirements by around 50% and the UK mild climate is especially susceptible to occupants. Attempts to attenuate the effect of occupant behavior in building performance keep being the focus of automation technologies but actually, these interventions can be seen as controversial. They can many times intensify 'negative' behavior (leaving lights on, covering sensors, leaving windows open, etc.) and cause user dissatisfaction with building operation, which ends up being adapted to cope with complaints undermining the energy efficient potential of a building. Balances between user control and automated control became a subject of debate and the strong impact they have in energy performance prompted further investigations into the provision of guidance for designers and facilities managers on how to apply occupancy models in practice.

This proposal aims to fund Dr. Clarice Bleil de Souza to participate in the IEA Annex 79 "Occupant behavior-centric building design and operation". The Annex focuses on the integration and implementation of occupant behavior in building and systems design and operation through the development and deployment of methods, technologies and policies, which would enable buildings to be comfortable, adaptable, usable and energy efficient.

Dr. Bleil de Souza will mainly take part in the Annex activities related to Subtask 3; "Applying occupant behavior models in performance-based design process." This subtask explores methods to apply occupant modelling throughout the design process by evaluating their application in a set of focused case studies. She will provide her expertise in parts of this subtask, which involve data production and analysis specifically related to design decision-making. She will therefore contribute to planned activities related to the development of guidelines to choose occupant model approaches to be used throughout the design process, considering design aims, climate, building typology etc. (Planned activity 2). She will also contribute to the development of simulation-based design procedures (Planned activity 3) and effective ways of communicating occupant-related information between different stakeholders (Planned activity 5).

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.cf.ac.uk